Let us remain as mere spectators!
Krishna teaches Arjuna and the message!
Witness or spectator conveys the same meaning!
Many may even get annoyed with the title. But this particular title has a philosophical inner tone. I do not advocate lethargy or laziness. Now let us go deep into the title. To remain as a spectator is possible when we are watching a drama or film show. We simply watch those shows and sometimes pass our comments about the show. In actual life, every one has to act according to the duties. There is nothing wrong in earning for the sake of family and educating children and keeping the family in good humor. But these are all mundane tasks every Tom, Dick and Henry will carry out. These are all quite incidental to family life.
When we watch a show, we go there for recreation and relaxing. Our attention is on the scenes and we sometime become one with the characters and feel their emotions as well. It is normal for sensitive people to even shed tears at the plight of some of the characters of the show. The show seems very real and we are engrossed in that totally. I said that we go to film shows and dramas or music concert for enjoying and time passing. What is the fun of crying and feeling heavy by watching the show. If you go there to enjoy, then you should feel refreshed after the show is over. On the contrary, certain pictures depress us more and we feel exhausted after watching the show. Hence we must watch the show as mere spectators! Then you may ask, "Why should we go to the picture if you are sitting like a dummy merely watching the show? What I mean is "Do not get involved in the show, do not get involved in the characters and their emotions. You may appreciate the talents of the actors who express perfect feelings matching to their role in the cinema but never be carried away by their emotions!
Now I will again revert to our life on earth. Every day we may have to interact and deal with many persons consequent to our duties. If we become too sensitive, we may not be able to perform the tasks in a satisfactory manner. Concentrate on your role in the Office or work place and do justice to your performance without entangling yourselves with unnecessary details. Your interactions with other should be limited to the allotted duties, nothing more and nothing less. We may have to deal with many different characters in the work place. The mind is easily distracted with unwanted involvements and emotions even in work place. Sometimes it would be prudent to remain indifferent to those unwelcome characters and restrict yourself to the task and avoid unnecessary talks to refrain from involvements.
In short, our focus should be on the work at hand and not on the personalities we have to deal with. You may listen but curtail your talk. This will help us to perform our duties nicely. Here, i would like to quote the famous Bagawat Gita imparted by Lord Krishna to the warrior Arjuna in the battle field. Though Arjuna was one of the greatest warriors at that time, he allowed himself to get drowned in emotions when the battle was about to begin. First he requested Krishna to place the chariot between the two armies so that he can have a view of all the warriors who are ready to embark on the battle.
When Krishna drove the chariot in the center, Arjuna saw in the opposite army, his own great grandfather, his preceptor, his cousins, his uncles and many close relatives arrayed in the battle field. He sent an arrow at the feet of Bheeshma and Drona as a mark of respect. He sought their permission and blessings. Yes, it was high tradition and culture at that time to seek the permission before commencement of war. They showered their blessings and permitted him to fight with them. Suddenly Arjuna was plunged in despair. "What for he is engaged in war? What would be the result of the war. Many valiant prince and Kings will get killed ruthlessly once the war is commenced. Why should he kill his own clan, his preceptor and great grandfather? What he is going to gain by this war? He thought, it would be better to retreat and become a recluse begging his food. After slaughtering so many, how can he enjoy the Kingdom bathed in the blood of so many close relatives and elders. He started crying, His bow slipped from his hand. He told Krishna, I do not want to fight with my own people!
Krishna understood the weakness that entered into the mind of Arjuna. He asked Arjuna, How come this pusillanimity? You are a great warrior and your duty is to fight a just war. You have not embarked on this war. The war is thrust upon you by your wicked cousins, who refuse to part with even five villages though Arjuna and his brothers are entitled half the Kingdom? Your weakness arise due to the feeling of myness. You are unduly attached to the bodies of your relatives. One day they are all going to die if not in the war. In fact, they are already slain by destiny. Be my instrument and act as I command. Take up the bow and show your valor! You will not incur any sin in the battle field.
Krishna counselled Arjuna, Do your duty without expecting any result. Leave the result to Me. Krishna told him "If you perform actions selflessly, you will gain wisdom and those actions won't bind you in any way. Otherwise, if you are interested in the results, Your work will become flawed. If you are focused on the results, you will be bound by the results. Hence relinquish the results and just perform the duties!
Here, the concept of 'spectator' is relevant. Be in the world. Perform the duties consequent to your position in the world. But do not aspire for the result and be engaged emotionally with the works. Even while performing the tasks, remain as a witness to the drama of life. Every event is a passing cloud. Seeing without involving is great. Watch the world as a mute witness. Attend to the duties and never aspire for any result! Hence, in this world, we should remain as a mere spectator to the external world, events and personalities. We should never react or resist any. What we resist persists. When we react, those actions binds us both emotionally and physically. Remain as a drop of water over lotus leaf without clinging!
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